- Associated Press - Thursday, February 11, 2016

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Ramsey County officials have voted to provide up to $300,000 for the study of a second daily round-trip train between St. Paul and Chicago.

The Ramsey County Board of Commissioners voted 7-0 Tuesday to finalize a partnership with the Minnesota Department of Transportation and move forward with the first phase of a $600,000 environmental assessment. Wisconsin would fund the other half.

An Amtrak feasibility study released last year predicted ridership on a second train could exceed 150,000 passengers a year, but Minnesota and Wisconsin would have to subsidize about $6.6 million annually. About 100,000 people ride a train between Chicago and St. Paul each year.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press (http://bit.ly/1TUqgIG ) reports the first phase of the environmental study would be done by end of December 2017 and have finer estimates for construction, capital and operating costs.

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Information from: St. Paul Pioneer Press, http://www.twincities.com

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